Is Ethiopia’s Bloody Civil War at an End?

Happy Friday! We can’t believe the Le Gruyère AOP Surchoix beat out the Gorgonzola Dolce DOP at the World Cheese Awards this week. Totally rigged.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg yesterday at a political rally calling for snap elections, an attack that party members are calling a political assassination attempt. One person reportedly died and several others were injured in the shooting, and police have arrested a suspect. Without providing evidence, Khan has blamed current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif—who led April’s successful effort to oust Khan from office—Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and intelligence leader Maj. Gen. Faisal Naseer for Thursday’s attack. Sharif condemned the shooting, but Khan’s supporters have begun protesting across Pakistan.
  • The FBI’s Newark office announced Thursday—without specifying details—that it had received “credible information of a broad threat to synagogues” in New Jersey and urged security precautions. State Attorney General Matt Platkin said law enforcement would increase patrols in “sensitive areas” out of caution. “To those who made these antisemitic terroristic threats: We will not cower,” New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer said in a statement, blaming anti-Semitic comments from public figures like rapper Kanye West and basketball player Kyrie Irving for contributing to a rise in antisemitic incidents. The Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving on Thursday for at least five games after he repeatedly refused to apologize for promoting a film laden with anti-Semitic tropes. Irving apologized shortly after his suspension was handed down.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that her husband Paul was released from the hospital yesterday and will continue recovering from last weekend’s attack at home. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed yesterday that the alleged attacker in the case, a 42-year-old man, was in the United States illegally after entering from Canada years ago.
  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters yesterday that U.S. Embassy officials in Russia met with detained WNBA star Brittney Griner for the first time since Griner’s appeal of her nearly decade-long prison sentence—which the United States holds is wrongful—was rejected. “We are told she’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” Jean-Pierre said.
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comeback is official, with the country’s election committee releasing final results yesterday showing a coalition led by Netanyahu’s Likud Party—and joined by the far-right Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties—held 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Current Prime Minister Yair Lapid called Netanyahu to concede, and issued a statement wishing him well. “The State of Israel comes before any political consideration,” he said.
  • CVS and Walgreens announced this week they had tentatively reached agreements on two separate settlements worth approximately $5 billion to resolve a number of lawsuits against the pharmacies over their handling of prescription painkillers and alleged contribution to the United States’ opioid crisis. 

Ethiopia Agrees to Silence the Guns

Redwan Hussein (L) of the Ethiopian government and Getachew Reda (R) of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) shake hands during a press conference regarding the African Union-led negotiations to resolve conflict in Ethiopia on November 2, 2022. (Photo by Phill Magakoe / AFP via Getty Images.)

Ethiopia’s two years of war have killed thousands of people, displaced millions, and driven many more to the brink of death via starvation or preventable diseases. Now the conflict might be coming to an end.

After about a week of peace talks in South Africa, negotiators for the primary combatants—Ethiopia’s federal army and Tigrayan forces—announced Wednesday they’d agreed to a permanent ceasefire. “The two parties in the Ethiopian conflict have formally agreed to the cessation of hostilities as well as to systematic, orderly, smooth and coordinated disarmament,” African Union mediation team leader and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo said at a press conference.

Though tensions reach back decades, the current conflict broke out in November 2020. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had come to power in 2018 after the fall of a decades-long ruling coalition led by Tigrayans, and he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for ending a longstanding border conflict with neighboring Eritrea. But he alienated already disgruntled Tigrayans, and tensions eventually escalated into violence. Territory changed hands—Ethiopia’s federal army driving into Tigray, Tigrayan forces threatening Ethiopia’s capital—but the fighting eased somewhat in December after Abiy decided not to follow retreating Tigrayan troops. A humanitarian truce declared in March gave citizens some relief from the bloodshed but also allowed both sides to prepare for more fighting. The ceasefire dissolved in August, and in recent weeks Ethiopia’s army has made significant gains, taking several towns.

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